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Andrei Antanasovich Kanchelskis ( ) is a retired Sovietmarker and Russianmarker football midfielder of Lithuanian and Ukrainian origin. He played for a number of teams, most notably Manchester United, Everton and Rangers. Kanchelskis is the only player in history to have scored in each of the Glasgow, Merseyside and Manchester local derbies.

Club career

Early career

Kanchelskis started his career with Dynamo Kyiv in 1988 and then went to Shakhtar Donetsk in 1990.

Manchester United

Kanchelskis signed for Manchester United on 26 March 1991 and made his debut in the final game of the 1990-91 season, which United lost 3-0 at Selhurst Parkmarker.

In 1991-92, Kanchelskis enjoyed many first team opportunities and helped United win the Football League Cup, although they were beaten to the Football League title by Leeds United. He proved himself as an able deputy to the considerably older Bryan Robson and Mike Phelan.

In 1992-93, Kanchelskis established on the right side of midfield, being a key part of the team who won the first ever Premier League title. He was one of only 13 non British or Irish players to play on the opening weekend of the Premier League along with Jan Stejskal, Peter Schmeichel, Robert Warzycha, Roland Nilsson, Eric Cantona, Hans Segers, John Faxe Jensen, Anders Limpar, Gunnar Halle, Craig Forrest, Michael Vonk and Ronnie Rosenthal.

1993-94 brought more success as United won the Premier League title and the FA Cup, and Kanchelskis was now United's first choice right-sided midfielder, and their first "proper" right-winger since Steve Coppell in the early 1980s, as the previous first-choice player in that position - Bryan Robson - was more of a right-sided midfielder.

Kanchelskis was United's leading goalscorer in the 1994-95 season with 15 goals in 32 games (14 of them in the Premier League), but missed the final few weeks of the season due to a hernia and during that time United surrendered the league title to Blackburnmarker and the FA Cup to Everton. United were also without the suspended Eric Cantona (who was banned for eight months after he assaulted a spectator against Crystal Palace in late January), while Andy Cole was cup-tied for the FA Cup games.

Kanchelsksis had played 145 times for United and scored 48 goals in the space of four years, but he had fallen out with manager Alex Ferguson earlier in the season and felt that they could no longer work together. He was promptly put on the transfer list in early July.

Everton

Bryan Robson made an unsuccessful bid to sign Kanchelskis for Middlesbrough when it was announced that United would be selling him, and there was also speculation that he would sign for Liverpool. In the end, Kanchelskis was sold to Everton just after the start of the 1995-96 season. The £5 million fee paid by manager Joe Royle made him Everton's biggest signing at the time.

His first season with the club saw him score 16 goals to cap a season of excellent performances which made him arguably the best right-winger in the country. He rapidly gained cult status with Everton fans especially after his two goals against rivals Liverpool at Anfield and his performances helped the club to a sixth place finish, their best finish since 1988, though it wasn't quite enough to secure a UEFA Cup place. Before Kanchelskis had been able to reproduce that form in his second season he was sold mid-way through for £8 million to Fiorentina.

Later career

At Fiorentina he again struggled to find his best form and later went on to play for Rangers (1998-2002), Manchester City (2001) (on loan, scoring once in the FA Cup against Liverpool), Southampton (2003), Al-Hilal (2003), FC Saturn Moscow (2004-2005), and Krylia Sovetov (2006). Whilst playing over 70 games for the Ibrox side, he only showed glimpses of his earlier career success, and found himself yet again on the fringes of the first team.

After leaving Krylia Sovetov he was without a contract and despite expressing interest in continuing playing, he retired on 12 February 2007. He played his last competitive game on 25 November 2006 in Round 30 of the Russian League.

Playing career

1988 Dynamo Kyiv Top League 1st level 7/1
1989 Dynamo Kyiv Top League 1st level 15/0
1990 Shakhtar Donetsk Top League 1st level 16/2
1991 Shakhtar Donetsk Top League 1st level 5/1
1990-91 Manchester United Premier League 1st level 1/0
1991-92 Manchester United Premier League 1st level 34/5
1992-93 Manchester United Premier League 1st level 27/3
1993-94 Manchester United Premier League 1st level 31/6
1994-95 Manchester United Premier League 1st level 30/14
1995-96 Everton Premier League 1st level 32/16
1996-97 Everton Premier League 1st level 20/4
Fiorentina Serie A 1st level 9/0
1997-98 Fiorentina Serie A 1st level 17/2
1998-99 Rangers Premier League 1st level 30/8
1999-00 Rangers Premier League 1st level 29/4
2000-01 Rangers Premier League 1st level 14/3
Manchester City Premier League 1st level 10/0
2001-02 Rangers Premier League 1st level 10/1
2002-03 Southampton Premier League 1st level 1/0
2003 Al-Hilal Premier League 1st level 3/0
2004 Saturn Premier League 1st level 12/2
2005 Saturn Premier League 1st level 20/1
2006 Krylia Sovetov Premier League 1st level 22/1


Honours



International career

Although Kanchelskis was born in Ukraine and his heritage is Lithuanianmarker, he chose to represent Russia. He was capped 23 times for the Soviet Union national team, scoring three goals, and 36 times for Russia, scoring five goals. After leading a player boycott against head coach Pavel Sadyrin and therefore missing the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the only senior major international tournaments Kanchelskis played in were Euro 92 and Euro 96.

Post-playing career

In 2007, Kanchelskis became the sporting director of Russian 1st division football club FC Nosta Novotroitsk.

Controversy

In his autobiography, Managing My Life, Alex Ferguson alleged that he was offered a £40,000 bribe to sell Kanchelskis. When this was refused, he claimed that death threats were made to Martin Edwards, the chairman of Manchester United at the time. There was no suggestion that Everton or Kanchelskis were aware of either the bribe or the threats.

References

  1. Kanchelskis calls time on career
  2. Russia 2006 First Level - Match Details
  3. Man Utd boss 'was offered bribe'


External links




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